Some new incoming international students had more than just a meal this evening.
Tonight dozens of Pittsburg State’s new international students came to Saint John’s Lutheran Church for International Friends of Pittsburg’s welcome dinner.
“We do this for every crop of students coming in,” says Ben Peters, International Friends of Pittsburg Treasurer.
This group has been working for decades to help students from around the globe feel more comfortable as they go to school at Pitt State.
“Then we say if you’re interested in this–and about half of them are–we tell them how to sign up for it and then we spend the next three weeks trying to match up families and students together,” says Peters.
The families they match up with then spend time doing activities with the students to help them feel welcomed. Peters says that he’s been apart of this program since 2002 and says that many of the host families get a lot from spending time with these students.
“A lot of it is just about finding out about other people’s lives and it’s a lot of fun. For families who have children it’s particularly fun because the kids at an early age get to meet someone from halfway around the world,” says Peters.
Last year Vitoria Neato was one of the new international students.
“I was there with the other new students just waiting for a time. Kind of afraid of the new. I didn’t know what was going on,” says Vitoria Neato.
This year she came back as a volunteer.
“It is nice. So I’m glad to be here,” says Neato.